Democrats in the Senate tried to tie $50 billion in funding for the war to withdrawal dates. The appropriations bill was defeated 53-45. Although 53 senators voted 'aye' it needed 60 votes to move forward. Of course this 60-vote rule has come to bite the Dems time and again as it did again on Thursday.
The vote of presidential candidate Chris Dodd of Connecticut was quite a surprise; he voted 'nay' along with Dem turned Independent-Republican Lieberman. His 'nay' vote was the only one of a Democrat. Even conservative Democrats like Nelson, Tester and Baucus voted 'aye.' Perhaps Dodd explained his vote or spun his vote.
Four Republicans voted 'aye' including Snowe and Collins of Maine, Hagel of Nebraska, and Smith of Oregon. The 'aye' vote of Olympia Snowe is a switch from previous votes. Her fellow senator Susan Collins has been voting with the Dems as she is up for re-election in '08. The state has become a solid D in presidential voting. Gordon Smith is up for re-election and has moved to the left in his solid blue state of Oregon. Hagel, a combat vet, opposed the war from the outset.
The 'nay' vote of John Sununu of New Hampshire was a surprise. He is up for re-election in '08 and his state has been trending blue in the past 3 presidential elections. Maybe he thinks the voters didn't notice that vote.
The 'nay' vote of Norm Coleman in Minnesota is also unexpected. In solidly Democrat Minnesota, the voters may take note of that vote as he too is up for re-election in '08.
The 'aye' vote of Louisiana senator Mary Landrieu was bold. She is up for re-election in '08 in a state that is trending deeper red now that Katrina displaced so many Democratic voters.
Back here in Ohio, George Voinovich has been casting his lot with George Bush from day one of this war. As his re-election isn't until '10, he hopes the voters here will not remember his stead-fast support of the Bush War. Knowing how easily Ohio voters can be bamboozled, he may be right. A little gay-marriage amendment could easily tip the voters towards him.
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